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More than Gratitude

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1 Thessalonians 6:18 “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Becky had often heard the little saying, “have an attitude of gratitude“, and for the most part she did. She could count her blessings and generally found a thankful spirit.

But this – there was no thankfulness in this! Her “attitude of gratitude” could find nothing for which to be thankful for. If she were not careful her heart could slip into despair and yes, even bitterness.

She didn’t feel like reading her Bible but she picked it up and flipped through it. Her eyes fell on a familiar verse she had highlighted with:

In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”.
1 Thessalonians 6:18

It seemed to hit her with new clarity. It said “in everything” not “for everything“. She pondered the thought. If she could not be thankful for this particular circumstance, what did it mean to be thankful in it?

When we ask sincere questions as we grow in our faith, with hearts hungry to understand God’s ways, the Holy Spirit shows us the answer.

Thoughts tumbled in her mind that  she could be thankful for God’s faithfulness to her. As she recalled times past when life seemed out of control, she recalled God’s steadying hand on her and how His strength had carried her in difficult times.
(Matthew 11:28)

She could be thankful that God promised to work things out for good, yes; she had seen His hand bring good out of the most troubling things. (Romans 8:28)

With fresh realization her heart grew a bit lighter as she saw what God meant – be thankful in her circumstance because she knew the God who was bigger than any problem and He would be faithful to help her, His child.

Prayer & reflection:

Father God, I truly am thankful for my blessings. But it is quite another thing to be thankful in the hard times and with the unanswered questions of life. Thank you for understanding it is not easy for me. Thank you for showing me that when I can’t be thankful for the hard stuff, You remind me to just be thankful in the hard stuff – for it is in the hard stuff where Your character of faithfulness will be proven over and over to me. Thank you for the confidence that You will see me through. Help me to lean hard on Your strength, and wisdom and care. Thank you that You will build a track record in my life through Your faithfulness. You enable me to be thankful in hard times because You are my God and You can be trusted with my life – even in the hard stuff! In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

by Gail Rodgers

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